The 2022 NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards are sponsored by Aacer Flooring.

The NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards, sponsored by Aacer Flooring recognize the innovative designs of new, renovated, or expanded collegiate recreational facilities of NIRSA member institutions. Awards are conferred to institutions for facilities that have been built or renovated in the previous year and a half.

Awards will honor facilities that demonstrate excellence in a number of critical areas, including architectural design, functionality, and how well the facility meets its intended purpose. Winning facilities exemplify the institution’s commitment to providing the higher education experience desired and valued by students.

Eligibility guidelines and application form

Why apply?

“After all the hard work, time, and resources committed to the Recreation and Fitness Center’s construction, it was exciting to have the team’s efforts formally recognized by the leaders in collegiate recreation,” says Joanna Prociuk, Director of University Recreation at CENTERS for Jacksonville State University, which received an Outstanding Facilities Award in 2020. “Unlike other awards, the Outstanding Facilities Awards recognize the successful integration of the campus master plan and university mission, not just architectural design. It was a special recognition to have NIRSA celebrate JSU’s plan for and achievement in campus transformation through the Recreation and Fitness Center.”

Recipient institutions receive a plaque commemorating their achievement; designated architects receive a spire; additional collaborators are honored with a certificate by request; and winning facilities along with collaborators are prominently displayed on the NIRSA website.

CannonDesign, a global architecture, engineering and consulting practice, has received Outstanding Facilities Awards in 2016, 2017, and 2021 for a variety of facilities. Colleen McKenna, Director, Sports Recreation and Wellness at CannonDesign, says, “We seek to deliver award-winning projects for every college, university, and institution we work with as a design firm—no matter the project scale, geography, etc. So, it’s awesome to earn validation from NIRSA for these facilities. We are fortunate to work with wonderful clients who make these projects possible.”

Take the time to celebrate your exceptional facility! Winning facilities are considered a standard by which other collegiate recreational facilities should be measured, and from which others can benefit. The effort you put into your application certainly pays off.

Aaron Hobson, Director of University Recreation & Wellbeing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which received an OFA in 2020 for its Nicholas Recreation Center, says, “It is worth your time to submit an application. Your facility, staff, and stakeholders are deserving of the recognition. Work closely with your A/E teams and other stakeholders to help reduce the workload of submitting an application.”

Joanna adds, “Get your architects, general contractor, and campus partners involved in the application process. They call all tell a portion of the story better than you can. Identify one person to collect information and submit the application.” She suggests sending out your final application drafts for review and comment before submission.

Apply by November 16

Applications for the 2022 Outstanding Facilities Awards are being accepted now and the application period will remain open through November 16, 2021. Consider submitting an application today!

Every year, the Association seeks to honor and highlight members who have made an impact by recognizing their outstanding service and achievements. NIRSA members are encouraged to nominate their outstanding colleagues and stellar programs for consideration as an award recipient or apply to have their facility or marketing endeavors recognized. Nominations and applications are open now for most NIRSA awards, with many sharing the same November 16 deadline.

Learn more about NIRSA awards

Thanks to our sponsor

Associate member of NIRSA since 2010, Aacer Flooring is proud to sponsor the 2022 NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards.

  • For more information about NIRSA Awards, contact NIRSA Member Relations Manager Sarah Leskovec.